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with howard. see you back here at noon. thanks. >> cbs suspends. even though the network isn't using that word for the botched report in benghazi. and they said "60 minutes" should have vetted the story far more carefully. >> the most important thing to every person at "60 minutes" is the truth, and the truth is we made a mistake. >> msnbc dropped alec baldwin over an alleged anti-gay slur shoulded at a photographer. and he attacked gay advocates and demands to know why his network didn't penalize martin bashir for sliming sarah palin. so you have this versus this versus this. >> on thursday night, when we discovered the account he gave
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the fbi was different than what he told us, we realized we had been misled and it was a mistake to include him in our report. >> i wanted to take this opportunity to say sorry to mrs. palin and to also offer an unreserved apology to her friends and family. >> we'll examine how the network handles these very different screw-ups and how that affects their credibility. a magazine says michelle obama is a feminist nightmare because the first lady is avoiding political battles and spending time with her kids. where does politico get off, anyway? katie couric becoming a global anchor for yahoo! can a website really compete with tv news? and a commentator goes public in describing how she found jesus and became a devout christian, stunning her left-wing friends. a stunning conversation with
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kirsten powers. i'm howard kurtz, and this is "media buzz." it was as big as any mistake in the history of "60 minutes" based on the bogus account of a security contractor who who claimed to have been at the u.s. compound the night of the attack in benghazi. cbs news chairman jeff factor took some of the blame this week after an internal inquiry saying in his other role as executive producer of "60 minutes," "i pride myself in catching almost everything, but this deception got through and it shouldn't have." he also put his star correspondent, lara logan, and her producers on what's been politely termed a leave of absence indefinitely. on the same day, alec baldwin used denied using an anti-gay slur, only choice curse words weather a photographer outside his apartment. and the actor let loose in an interview, attacking tmz and
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what he called the fundamentalist wing of gay advocacy, naming blogger andrew sullivant and the no, sir g.l.a.d. was the punishment warrant t in these different cases? lauren ashburn, fox news contributor and author of the column on foxnews.com. jim pinkerton, fox news contributor, and dana milbank, columnist for "the washington post." given the magnitude of the mistake on this benghazi story, was cbs justified in suspending lara logan? >> absolutely. this was a colossal mistake and something had to be done. that isn't to take away from lara logan and max mcclellan, who are very good journalists. but this is true in any corporation. when something goes wrong, you have to apologize and take action in order to maintain your credibility. >> i'm told the suspension will be for a significant period of time, not just a couple of weeks, which some might see as a slap on the wrist. but jim woods, someone without
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the track record and star power of lara logan have been fighting this. >> that's possible. an old joke in journalism, too good to check. if you make millions a year, you're obligated. jeff factor, overall in charge of the show, why didn't he suspend himself as well as logan and mcclellan? >> that's a serious suggestion? >> why not? if accountability means accountability, the people who make the mistakes are accountable. >> which leads to my question for dana, which is the language in this internal inquiry report is very measured, sort of just the facts approach. wouldn't it have been better for cbs' credibility, for jeff's credibility, to have an outside investigation? >> well, that might have helped. i'm also a little puzzled by this sort of suspension penalty, which a lot of news outlets, including mine, have used sort of in between saying you're sorry and firing somebody. it seems to me if they did something bad, well, they get fired. and if they didn't do something
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that bad, what's the suspension thing like? you're in the penalty box for a little while, you need a little cooling-off period? i'm not sure what that achieves. >> isn't it a question of you're paying a significant penalty for making a very bad mistake on an important story but it's not one in which it's worth ending your career at the network? >> i suppose that's the statement they're attempting to make here. i wonder why cbs dragged it out this way. you know, they basically revived the story themselves where is they'd already taken the hit for it. now here we are on "media buzz" going at them again. >> i think part of it, dana, might be money. we don't know in this case if suspension means no pay, but i think when that kind of thing happens that's a hit to the pocketbook maybe and that gives the perception there has been some sort of punishment. >> your point about wabing the story to be true, cbs talks about running a red flag in the person contractor of davies because he told lara logan he
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lied to his own security company saying he wasn't at the compound in benghazi, then told lara logan he was, told a different story to the fbi. it seems like their whole team wanted to believe this guy, who also had a book out. >> exactly. which they didn't disclose. they were so anxious to keep this together, they didn't get into a fact they had an obvious synergy there, somebody within another department in cbs viacom said we need to this book to be a success to hit our numbers for the quarter. >> that's the first thing as a journalist brings a red flag to mind is that if someone's trying to hawk a book, i want to be very sure what they're saying to me is true because you know they have another motive, which is to sell that book and make some money. >> right. and it's almost like being a lawyer, if your chief witness admits to you having lied once, obviously that brings up credibility concerns. what about alec baldwin denying using this particular anti-gay slur and has an incident of
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being harassed by the paparazzi? a little sympathy there. but then he goes on the rant against the fundamentalist wing of gay advocacy. what's the message? >> you don't have to like alec baldwin one bit to nonetheless agree he has a point when he said don imus got fired for making derogatory comments about blacks and he's getting fired for making derogatory comments about gays. but martin bashir makes derogatory comments about conservative s and get answer apology. it would appear msnbc has built their business model, fine to attack conservatives, what we do for a living, but attacking blacks and gays is not acceptable and you get fired. >> to dana's point, a lot of people who have been fired or suspended over something like this are crying foul. david shuster said he used slang when interviewing hillary clinton asking if they were going to be pimping out chelsea clinton. he said i don't understand
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what's happening here. somebody must have pictures of phil griffin. >> griffin the misnbc president. come back to the hiring of alec baldwin, an actor and comedian unaware of the fact a weekly he's had anger issues in the past. do you get shocked over this? >> you can't compare all these three things. the cbs thing is a genuine journalistic miscarriage. the alec baldwin thing, he'd barely been on the air at all and he is a loose cannon. they probably thought differently of it very quickly after hiring him, whether he had done that or not. then you have the martin bashir thing, which was really quite different. he was making a very legitimate point about sarah palin. >> let's back up for people who haven't been following. sarah palin had given a speech in which she compared the national debt and owing money to china to slavery. a lot of people didn't like that. i said this in the beginning, it
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is fair game to criticize sarah palin, fox news contributor, over that, but let's not mince words here. what bashir said in a scripted read with graphics that had to be approved or acquiesced by other people at the network, you know, suggested using her as a toilet. >> yes. and i think the legitimate point that he was making is that these slavery things are brought up too often and this is how awful slavery is. then he brought up a vulgar thing at the end for it which he apologized. yeah, that happens on msnbc. it happens on fox news. people on this network have talked about decapitating me and turning me into hummus. nobody's getting suspended or barely apologizing for that sort of thing. >> was that a host or guest? >> it was from npr. this is the sort of thing that can happen on any network. >> to say it's not that wig a deal, fine, why did they fire don imus then? >> well, i mean, they're very different -- people of very different -- >> not even awful, nasty things
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about african-american women at rutgers. >> why did fox news fire glenn beck but not bill o'reilly? >> first of all, fox news didn't fire glenn beck. glenn beck left when his contract expired. i don't think either side necessarily wanted to continue just to be clear on that. but the reason we're bringing up martin bashir again, not that i like to talk about him every week. msnbc made clear they're not going to do anything, but because alec baldwin said hey, how come i'm getting the boot and not this guy? >> we don't know what phil dwrif fin is thinking, why that happened, maybe other things behind the scenes that i don't know about. what i do want to raise that may be controversial is he at least apologized. i think in our society and culture, people are very willing to throw bombs at other people, and no one is willing to say, hey, you know what, i went too far, i'm sorry. i'm not condoning what he's saying pip just think lar l.a. ra logan said she was soroye. in a personal relationship, when
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you offensive end someone, you say you're sorry and the other person says you're forgiven. in tv news it's a little different. >> just to give you the chronology, alec baldwin did apologize in a note that was posted on the msnbc website smoop but he retracted it. >> he kind of retracted it. >> the obvious difference here is martin bashir is a journalist with a serious track record who's probably granted manier leeway to make a mistake than someone like alec baldwin who is not a journalist at all and also known for popping off. >> add andrew sullivant and g.l.a.d. and the gay rights activists types made a point of ke demanding that baldwin go and it worked. pressure campaigns against media figures work and there wasn't one against martin bashir. >> on that report on 60 minute, cbs executives said lara logan gave speech saying we need to do more against al qaeda and this was a conflict in terms of her
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continuing to report on this story. we'll be back in just a moment. [ male announcer ] 'tis the season of more.
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a document shredder. a $29 value free. ♪ ♪ has he made a better president than you? >> of course. that's an easy question. but she's smart enough to know that, you know, she might not want to go through the process. >> i absolutely don't agree. you know, he has a level of patience and focus and tenacity and calm, you know, that just doesn't, you know, come by. >> you don't have that patience. >> i definitely don't.
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>> the first couple with barbara walters. michelle obama is one of the most intensively covered first ladies of the modern era and never made a pretense about the fact her primary role is mom in chief. she works part-time on a handful of issues such as childhood obesity but largely stays out of the beltway brawling. why is politico suddenly declaring in a headline how michelle obama became a feminist nightmare? >> well, i mean, there's two theories here. one is they're out to get clicks, sort of the politico uber anyway. stirring the pot. and the othether theory is that michelle coddle represents a kind of inside the beltway liberal feminism that defines feminism as abortion, gay marriage, and a little bit of sheryl greenburg type stlooifing through corporate america, leaving out the other theories of feminism like working women and helping poor families and right to life and all the other things women might be interested
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in. those things appear to be invisible to michelle coddle as she evaluates michelle obama. >> this is not the battle, i don't believe, of the michelles. i think this headline was inflammatory, but if you look at michelle coddle's piece, it is not an opinion piece. it is a reported piece where she both talks to feminists and talks to republican activists as well who present both sides of the story. that isn't to say, however, that she is wrong in the premise of the article because i think it's very important for women to be able to make the choice of stay home. do you remember when there was a democratic strategist, hilary rosen, who basically said that ann romney never worked a day in her life? >> despite the five children. >> despite the five children. you have to give credit to mothers who make that decision. >> in the piece michelle coddle writes, enough, already, for the pining of michelle obama, something that doesn't exist. i asked her about the story and she told me the headline is
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inflammatory, picking up on your words, as they are designed to be, but the piece in no way suggests she's a nightmare. she had nothing to do with that line. >> it doesn't appear in the story. i don't think we'd be discussing this or there would be a controversy were it not for that. it didn't strike me as a terribly controversial story. we used to write all these stories, particularly during the 2008 campaign, about how aggressive michelle obama was and how outspoken she is, and then they basically put a muzzle on her and now we're shocked and outraged that she's quiet and demure. you can't have it both ways. >> a reported piece, dana, in this story, kelly goff, who writes for the rude, is quoted as sayingitis a national shame that michelle obama is not plunging into bigger issues now that she doesn't have to worry about her image as a super strong -- >> can you imagine the reaction if she had been stronger? >> a la hillary clinton. >> imagine, also, reporters oftentimes like to provoke, punch them in the nose, and say, i didn't mean to hurt anybody, i'm sorry your feelings were hurt by what i wrote. michelle coddle knew what she
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was doing. she was expressing a feminist point of view that speaks to her own book club. it's not the same as the women around the rest of the country. >> i don't know that if what michelle's motives were, michelle coddle, that is, but i think it's pretty clear that michelle obama's motives are to let her husband be president and to use this very critical time in her children's life to focus on children and children's issues. and i'm sorry, what is wrong with focusing on children's issues? i think we need to focus more on those. >> i am just shocked at jim's allegation that journalists would do something to try to generate clicks. >> you can't recovered from that yet? >> no. >> the take-away is we're here talking about so on some level it worked and stirred a debate, even though not the debate the author intended. thanks for stopping by. don't forget, send us a tweet about the show. @howardkurtz. we'll read the best ones later. up next, kirsten powers in
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her first interview about becoming an evangelical christian.
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there's a familiar phrase on fox news. kirsten powers talks about how she found jesus. i sat down with her earlier in studio one. welcome. >> good to be here. >> this is a highly personal piece, almost a coming-out. why several years later did you decide to write it? >> well, they asked me to write it so it wasn't something that i -- yeah. they came in and asked if i would wright writhe about it and i felt like this is a big part of my life and has been for the past seven years and i couldn't think of any good reason to not write about it. i thought, yeah, now is the time to come out of the closet. >> you were hanging around with your liberal friends, many of
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whom were atheists and you began dating a man who you describe as in to jesus. >> yes. >> you wrote, on one hand i was creeped out. >> yeah. well, yeah, i lived in a world that was extremely secular. gin anybody who went to church. and so to me it seemed like an odd thing to do, frankly. and when i referenced being creeped out is when he basically one day said to me, you know, do you believe that jesus is your savior and i just thought, who says stuff like that? you know? i never came in contact with anybody who says things like this. strange working in manhattan, working in democrat politics. my world was a left-swing secular world. >> and seven years ago you had a moment. >> yeah. well, as i recount in the piece, i had an experience -- the thing is, i want to be clear, it wasn't a one-moment kind of
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thing. it was something that over a year, probably, of going to church and studying the bible and a lot of different things, and i had this experience where i had a dream, and that sort of upended my world a little bit and that i at first just thought was just a dream, you know, and i didn't really believe in things like that, and maybe it was just a dream, i don't know, but it put me on a path of then sort of seeking out to learn more about it and i ended up in a bible study and the rest is history. >> even then you write the horror of the prospect of being a devout chis cristian crept in almost immediately. i spent the next few months doing my best to wrestle away from god. >> yeah. >> why? >> it was a real culture shock for me and still sometimes is honestly. it was a world that was completely new to me, a world where most of the people i came in contact with were conservative, you know, had a dollar for every time somebody said i don't understand, how could you be a democrat and be a christian, i'd be a millionaire. seriously. >> why is it a contradiction in terms? >> i don't think it is. >> we've seen democrats who are
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more liberals. >> i think they met orthodox christian. if i had been somebody who sort of believed in god and wasn't too serious about it, but the fact i was an orthodox christian, so i felt like a fish out of water, didn't feel very comfortable there. it was many year until i started meeting other people like me, progressive minded political by but also conservative thee logically. >> on the question of politics, you said you mostly heard about christians saying things tampa . is that because the media concentrates on those kinds of some would say inflammatory comments? >> yes and no. i think, yes, the media is not the most christian friendly piece plais in the world for the most part, but at the same time, a lot of christians are bringing it on themselves. they are saying these things after all. you have people coming out and saying 9/11 happened or hurricane katrina happened because of lesbians. so they are bringing it on themselves. those people, of course, don't
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necessarily represent the bulk of christians, at least as i know them. but there are people who think that way. and so i think when christians say we're being unfairly persecuted, it's like, well, then stop saying things like that. >> were you worried as you came to grips with this in your heart and then more publicly, that your friends, especially your lefty friends, might view you differently? >> well, i knew that they would and they did. so i think that a lot of the people that i used to be very close to, we're still friends but we don't have the same kind of relationship that we had. >> it's changed the friendships you've had. >> definitely. some were strained. some were strained. >> because they couldn't accept you had become more religious and a devout christian. >> i think my whole life had centered on democratic politics. i was very much in that bubble. you know, i worked in the clinton administration so i had all these friends from, there and then in democratic politics in new york, so that's what we kind of bonded over. that was our religion to a certain extent. >> that was your religion.
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>> yeah. so now suddenly i had different interests and was moving in another direction. not that there was a falling out or they were mean to me or anything, just we started being interested in different things. >> as you went public with your beliefs, what was the reaction of your family? >> they were not very happy about it. i come from a very intellectual family, very liberal family that's, you know, my parents are professors, and they thought it was extremely odd and didn't like it very much. i remember tell mig mother i'm going to a bible study and she said, okay, and then she said, well, that's good, that's a nice education, you know, for literature and things like that. and i said, no, i believe it. and she sort of said, okay. >> the reactions to your piece and whether it surprised you. >> very positive. yeah, i was surprised. i got so many e-mails. i even heard from some of my friends who are atheists who were interested in it and
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appreciated it and were inspired by it. so, yeah, i was really welcome and a nice response. >> kirsten powers. still to come, our news december income new york standing by to give you the latest on that deadly train derailment in the bronx. in the meantime, check out our show's facebook page. we're constantly posting content and having conversations there. up next, why fake twitter followers has become a big business. and how one newspaper is combining journalism and marijuana.
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if you're in this business, you like to have as many viewers as possible. if you're on twitter, you want to have as many followers as possible. but it turns out millions of these twitter accounts are, well, fake. created as part of a huge scam.
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>> he's got more than 230,000 twitter followers but "the wall street journal" reports that a broker recently bought 1,000 fake casualties for the singer from a pocket signing dealer for the grand sum of $58. and the rapper whose real name is dave morrell says if you're not padding your numbers you're not doing right. it's part of the game. excuse me. but i don't like that game. i think it undermines the value of twitter, the premise that real people are following other real people on the social network. it's back cottage industry. up to 9% of all twitter accounts are bogus, according to the journal. political candidates have been known to artificially boost their number of followers. twitter believes fewer than 5% of its active users are fraudulent and it's actively trying to suspend such spam accounts but twitter in my view actually encourages this black market because unlike facebook it doesn't require people to use their real names and the robotic
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accounts can have an impact by pushing certain subjects into trending topics. it's hard not to take this problem personally in an age where we're judged by our digital presence. i value the feedback from my twitter followers. i fervently hope that all of you are real. after the break, the "new york times" getting slapped for a front-page photo article about breast cancer. did the pap gore too far?
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someone is guilty of a media fail here when it comes to getting the bugs out of the obama care website. yesterday's "washington post," house website to meet deadline. which is it? in our press picks, this was over the line. it was a serious story about breast cancer in israel and efforts to test for a gene that could lead to more mastectomies. but the front-page photo of "the new york times" was an eye opener, especially for the gray lady. a woman with a star of david tattoo, one of her breasts showing a surgical scar and the outer part of the nipple. many of the readers were upset, says the editor, because the jewish tattoo reminded them of the holocaust, others because of the exposed flesh. yes, the picture was relevant to the story, but this is "the new york times" we're talking about and you don't expect to see it
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grab some attention by showing cleavage on the front page. up next, yahoo! lands katie couric as its global news anchor. that's next in our "digital downlo download."
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time now for our "digital download." a big get, as we say in the business, yahoo! landing katie couric not just for an online show but as its global news anchor. >> obvious a major hire. it raises this question -- can big-time websites steal more of the audience that now watches television news? >> seems to me kaushg kaushg excelled as an anchor and host on the "today" show because she
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could do a little bit of everything. she could do great interviews, cover the conventions, go to afghanistan, cooking segments, but join line is really about niches. >> it is. it's also what marissa mayer is betting on about personalities. i think what she is trying to do is get original voices that then can translate to the web. it's about for her personal brand, and katie certainly has one. >> very large katie couric there while we're talking. >> i know. i feel very little. >> marissa mayer has gone down this top talent road, hired david polk. >> megan lieberman. >> if you look at the home page, it's kind of a mishmash of news, celebrities, recipes. one of the top stories today, world's ugliest dog dies. i can't see katie getting into it. >> i bet she could. i would feel sorry for the dog. >> i'm missing the point already? >> you know how many people
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click on that portal every day? 43 million? in an interview she gooif "glamour" magazine online, katie said it's not about the money but about the reach and she's excited to take advantage of that. she also mentions her cbs interview with sarah palin and said it got much more play online than it movies, series, youtube. can even katie couric draw a big audience to a place like yahoo!? i don't know. >> google gives you everything else that everybody has done and you can see it done. you can see it there. what they're trying to do is not make this a tradition nal tv network but turn it into something new. maybe they'll be ahead of the curve. the core problem for yahoo! has always been display ad revenue. i remember this from u.s. a today, in terms of your video revenue, you're sold out months ahead of time, which is not a
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good thing. it means you don't have enough video content that advertisers want. so her job here is to get those video advertisers back by increasing the amount of video content that yahoo! has. >> yahoo! can avoid to put up a lot of video content. i wonder, though, think of the term anchor, what it means in television is that you have a team of reporter who is run mea in television is that you have a team of reporter who is go out and cover stories and you are the presenter, to use the british term and you do live interviewings and so forth. there's not going to be a team comparable to the cbs evening news. >> they want short, they want funny, they want interesting, they want the ugliest dog who died. >> i don't want the dog. i don't need to hear about the dog. >> you want the cat person? >> you seem optimistic that couric can -- >> i'm not optimistic and here's
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why because it is very difficult to translate television to the web. and on the web, what works there has not been what to this point has been personalities. they're banking on katie and net buy. >> yahoo may need some help because there's this fabulous internal memo that surfaces on the site, complaining that only 25% of the people who work at yahoo use yahoo mail. >> and that was after they urged people to do it. karen swisher got it from an internal memo on yahoo. windows 95 calls and they want their mail app back. >> another line from the memo, whether it's familiarity, laziness or simple stubbornness, it's time to move on, comrades. >> a and the other thing, it
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sounded like this rah rah, let's go, do it. you'll automatically get to dog foot our new features first. i'm especially excited for the smart auto suggest, feeling a little tingle? we want you on board, sailor. >> all right, still to come, what happened when the ap found out those secret u.s. iran talks and some u.s. papers just saying no to the
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test test
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here are a few of your top tweets. on 60 minutes, suspending lara logan. the entire network got duped by a liar, she is not alone. not enough, she helped create another frenzy and it was not forgotten. but her bs facts are still circumstance lating. she should have been fired, she totally ruined 60 minutes' credibility in this point forward. and alec baldwin getting booted on msnbc. a business decision and was probably the right thing to do. and about my interview with kirsten powers, doug eldridge writes great article by kirsten
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powerers. we r it is a very brave act for ms. powers to publicly declare her faith in god. thank you, ms. powers. i mentioned last week that photographers are protesting a white house policy in which they are sometimes excluded from political events, only to see the administration -- now usa today says in a staff memo, we do not public either in print on online, handout photos except from the white house press office. good for you, usa today, ann mcclatchey says we don't publish press release photos that are designed to make president obama look good. the wire service says it was trying to confirm the meetings after being tipped off last
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march and learned further indications of secret diplomacy in the fall and press white house and other officials about that. even a single sentence in these talks would have been a huge worldwide scoop. at the time the story didn't meet its standards. ap officials aren't saying whether the obama administration asked them to delay the story until a after the announcement that john kerry had struck a deal with tehran. the ap got the same request. and get a whiff of this. the denver post has been looking for a weed editor, with colorado having legalized the selling and smoking of small amounts of pot, the paper is creating a website for recreational marijuana use. no word on how much firsthand research is required. >> and if it is, you can't do it at your job, because you can't come in drunk or you can't come in, this was in the memo, actually smelling of weed. and they're also hiring a pot
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critic and a potted advice colu nis. >> they say they're on the forefront of an international story. there is some merit to thark but come on. >> does this fall in the category of certain fringe benefits of being a journalist? that's it for this edition of media buzz. hope you're having a good thanksgiving weekend, let's continue the conversation on twitter, on our home page, fox news.com/media buzz and also on our facebook website. hope you'll give us a like. we >> a quiet commute ends in chaos. >> i looked down my window and i am facing the river. >> all eyes on the scene of a
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deadly train derailment as investigators sift through the karnage looking for reviews. we are live on the ground. >> the obamacare web site is rebooted. crashes again just hours later. what they are saying now about the fixes. >> new clues into the crash that killed paul walker. what they found out about the cause of the wreck. "fox & friends first" starts right now. >> good morning. you are watching "fox & friends first" on this monday morning. i am heather childers. >> i am ainsley earhardt. thank you for starting your day off with us. we are going to start with this.
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nearly 24-hours after a deadly train derailment the speed of that train is under the microscope. 7 trains jumped the tracks. anna kooiman is at the scene in the bronx. >> good morning heather and ainsley. a lot of questions in the bronx in new york city. we are sitting here where all 7 of the passenger cars in the metro north train did de rail. the lead locomotive did end up teetering inches away from the water. a track problem, was it human error, mechanical error? was speed a factor the ntsb is looking into all of those factors. the metro north train that was southbound was headed toward grand central station t. derailed in the bronx around
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